Sears has ‘no current plans to close’ Hawaii stores
Sears Holdings Corp. said it has “no current plans to close” its five remaining Hawaii stores that are on the auction block.
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Sears Holdings Corp. said Tuesday it has “no current plans to close” its five remaining Hawaii stores that are on the auction block.
A company spokesman declined to comment further on the local outlets — at Pearlridge Center, Windward Mall, Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului and an appliance store at Ala Moana Center — which are among 505 of the company’s most profitable locations to be sold or auctioned off as part of its bankruptcy, according to court documents.
The department store chain, based in Illinois, drastically reduced its number of stores even before
filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 15
as it struggles to stay relevant in a retail market full
of big-box giants — including Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy — competing for Sears’ core appliance sales.
However, local retail analyst Duane Shimogawa said the venerable retailer is no longer relevant in the Hawaii market.
“They weren’t as nimble as some of the other big-box stores to adapt to the changes in the market, namely the explosion of e-commerce. They didn’t go into e-commerce as fast as they should have to stay ahead in the market,” said Shimogawa of Avalon Development Co. “For a very long time, they were a very relevant and important piece of the retail scene in the United States … but it’s come to a point where they face too stiff of competition.”
The company that owns Sears and Kmart announced earlier this year that it would shutter
142 stores by year’s end, adding to the closure previously announced of 46 unprofitable locations. The Lihue Kmart shut down in early September, following the closure of a Kailua-Kona location in August. The last Kmart store on Oahu, a 135,000-square-foot location in Kapolei, closed in October 2017.
Sears will accept a single bid or multiple offers for the 505 locations and is also considering bids from buyers with intentions to liquidate. The deadline for an initial bidder is Dec. 15, and Dec. 28 for other offers. An auction has been scheduled for Jan. 14.